Thursday, 27 June 2013
Questions to the Speaker
Speaker, this will be a bit of an anticlimax, but I should adjust my cuffs and straighten my tie—Stephen, there is nothing I can do with my hair, but anyway—and raise this because I think that it is an important development in the way in which this place operates. So by way of questions to you under standing order 103: does the Speaker agree that the efforts of officers from the Department of the House of Representatives and the Department of Parliamentary Services at short notice and which enabled members and senators to carry out their business last night unhindered, whilst at the same time allowing members of the press gallery to appropriately give public coverage to the historic events, were exemplary? Will the Speaker convey, both to departmental officials and to the executive of the gallery, the gratitude of the House for the development of protocols to handle such events both cooperatively and to the satisfaction of the interests of all concerned?
): I certainly will. I will concur with the member for Scullin in my appreciation of all the departmental staff and the members of the press gallery for the way the situation yesterday was handled. There were some outbreaks earlier in the day; but, when the new rules were reinforced, they were adhered to. I wish to thank everyone and the member for Scullin for bringing it to our attention.
However, there have been some unwarranted instances in the last 24 hours. When members of the parliament and their staff breach the rules that the members of the press are being asked to adhere to, that is a grave violation. People taking photographs in any section of the building nowadays where we have said they are not to without the permission of the individual will no longer be tolerated. This is a workplace for everybody, and people should remember and respect that.